Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

Heat pump technology may be at a standstill, but more work is being done to integrate them with boilers, says Viessmann’s Hugh Jones

Ref:A0879
Published: 18 December 2013



The basic principle behind how a heat pump works was laid out 161 years ago in 1852 Lord Kelvin in his second law of thermodynamics. And purely by accident, American inventor Robert C. Webber created what is believed to be the first ever heat pump in the late 1940s. 


Webber was experimenting with deep freezing equipment when he accidentally touched the outlet pipes of the cooling system. Little did he expect to burn his hand. This led him to the idea of the basic mechanics of a heat pump. 


Technology has progressed rapidly since then but how far can we take heat pumps to make the next generation more efficient than those available on the market today?


“It’s difficult to say,” explains Viessmann’s Technical Manager and heat pumps expert Hugh Jones. “Heat pumps are heat pumps. They’ve been around a long time. There is a lot of fine tuning to get better efficiencies. There’s nothing startling coming forward in the next few years but the biggest challenge we face is getting people to accept them and buy them. That includes persuading builders, installers and consultants that this is a way of saving money and a way of saving carbon emissions, and getting people to pay more for a heating system.”


Mr Jones says the challenge is to persuade people that they can make savings in the long-run, even though it will be more expensive initially than a conventional boiler system. 


But technology is not progressing in the world of heat pumps and it appears manufacturers are at a peak in terms of making them as efficient as possible.  


“Efficiencies are getting to the point where there’s not much to be gained,” he adds. “A lot of people are concentrating now on noise levels – trying to reduce the noise levels. That’s the next sort of performance factor.


He also cited that Viessmann is working on the next ongoing challenge, which is to integrate heat pumps with other heating systems, so they can work in harmony to be as efficient as possible. He calls it ‘system integration’ and it involves having systems that allow heat pumps to integrate with boilers and improved communication technology to allow people to access them more easily. That could include more app-based technology. “There’s a lot of work being done on that side of the field,” he says. 


Subscribe to MotorTrades insight
MotorTrades Insight are now official news providers for NewsNow.
Credit Expert Square 1Credit Expert Square 1

Top Stories // This Week

Show Stories For:

james-hunts-hesketh-308-could-make-537000-at-upcoming-rm-auctions-monaco-saleJames Hunt's Hesketh 308 could make £537,000 at upcoming RM Auctions Monaco sale.  Hesketh Racing was formed in 1972 by the British Peer, Lord Alexander Hesketh, who was a keen motorsport enthusiast with a desire to compete in the sport at the highest level. After two seasons... kia-receives-environmental-badge-for-use-of-bio-based-plastic-in-new-soul-electric-vehicleKia receives environmental badge for use of bio-based plastic in new Soul electric vehicle.  Kia has revealed that the company’s new Soul EV (electric vehicle), which will have its world premiere at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show starting later this week, has achieved UL Environment validation ... crash-tests-show-indias-cars-are-unsafe-and-in-the-dark-ages-compared-to-europeCrash tests show India's cars are unsafe and in the dark ages compared to Europe.  Britons are lucky to be driving some of the safest cars in the world. In other parts of the world, safety standards are not so high. Every day, 380 lives are lost on the roads of India. It's a blood... european-autonomous-driving-research-project-adaptive-beginsEuropean autonomous driving research project 'AdaptIVe' begins.  The European research project AdaptIVe (Automated Driving Applications & Technologies for Intelligent Vehicles) has begun at the MobileLifeCampus in Wolfsburg, Germany. It is a consortium o... new-vehicle-collision-repair-qualifications-brought-in-to-recognise-skills-of-mechanics-and-bodyshop-workersNew Vehicle Collision Repair Qualifications brought in to recognise skills of mechanics and bodyshop workers.  Two new IMI Awards qualifications have recently been introduced, targeted at the body repair sector. The level 2 and level 3 Multi-skilled Vehicle Collision Repair Qualifications cover paint, p... new-70mpg-c-class-c-220-bluetec-will-cost-around-30000-mercedes-revealNew 70mpg C-Class C 220 BlueTEC will cost around £30,000, Mercedes reveal.  The new C-Class C 220 BlueTEC will cost from £30,865 for a 7-speed automatic. It has 170hp, accelerates from zero to 62mph in 7.7 seconds and has a claimed combined fuel economy of 70.6mpg.&nbs... f1-pictorial-comparison-mclaren-mp4-28-vs-mclaren-mp4-29-the-bizarre-intricacies-of-dolphin-noses-crazy-curves-and-jagged-linesF1 Pictorial Comparison: McLaren MP4-28 vs McLaren MP4-29 - the bizarre intricacies of dolphin noses, crazy curves .  After McLaren confirmed the departure of Paddy Lowe to Mercedes F1, Tim Goss was appointed Director of Engineering for the Woking-based Formula One team. In the past, he was Chief Engineer for ... first-drive-review-volvo-v60-d4-r-design-nav-geartronicFIRST DRIVE REVIEW: Volvo V60 D4 R-Design Nav Geartronic.  This is arguably the sexiest looking Volvo estate ever created. And the colour, Rebel Blue, says what Volvo and Swedish design is all about. We test drove the Volvo V60 D4 R-Design Nav last wee... personal-photograph-taken-by-michael-schumacher-to-be-auctioned-for-great-ormond-street-hospitalPersonal photograph taken by Michael Schumacher to be auctioned for Great Ormond Street Hospital.  A personal photograph taken by Michael Schumacher is to be auctioned in London this Friday to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.The image of a boat on a lake taken ... new-vauxhall-astra-gets-cleaner-16-litre-engine-with-a-combined-fuel-economy-of-763mpgNew Vauxhall Astra gets cleaner 1.6-litre engine with a combined fuel economy of 76.3mpg.  The top-selling Astra is now available with a super-smooth new generation 1.6 CDTi engine, Vauxhall’s cleanest ever mid-size diesel.Previously only available on the Zafira Tourer and the Meriva, the... new-cars-are-27-per-cent-more-fuel-efficient-than-in-2008-as-car-sales-rise-in-januaryNew cars are 27 per cent more fuel efficient than in 2008, as car sales rise in January.  New car registrations were up in January, with the UK automotive industry expecting to see 'moderate, sustainable growth in 2014', according to SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.Buyers are increasingl... 

Cookies on Motortrades Insight

Like many popular websites, Motortrades Insight uses some third party widgets that may set and may have already set cookies, for example the Twitter feed on our homepage.
For more information see our cookie policy. By clicking close and continue you agree to our use of cookies.